Badminton: D1-Hamilton, D2-Campo Verde claim singles crowns

October 23, 2021 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Sunnyslope's Allison Rodriguez returns a volley in the D-1 doubles final against Chaparral. Sunnyslope prevailed in three sets. (Azpreps365 photo)

Players from four schools wound up the winners Saturday at the 2021 Division 1 and Division 2 state badminton singles and doubles championships held at Independence High School.

Earning gold medals for the their efforts were Hamilton's Samiya Bodhankar (D1 singles), Campo Verde's Jaclyn Whaley (D2 singles), Sunnyslope's Allison Rodriguez an Maddie Schlesinger (D1 doubles) and Ironwood's Alexandria Hogan and Juliana Traylor Rowen (D2 doubles.

Bodhankar's triumph marked the third year in a row Hamilton claimed the top spot in D-I singles (three different winners). Bodhankar, a sophomore, was the No. 1 seed. She had to rally from a first set loss (21-19) to No. 2 seed Merilyn Li (Corona del Sol) in the final. Bodhankar backed up her top-seeding with 21-13 and 21-8 wins in the next two sets. She was particularly sharp in the third set as the score indicates.

Whaley, a senior, was the fifth-seed and knocked off top-seed Karah Abbott (Sunrise Mountain) in the semis. Whaley battled third-seeded Diana Batrez Ramirez for the title. Scores were 21-14, 19-21, 21-19. It was the closest final of the day with Whaley coming back from three points down late (16-13) to win.

In D-I doubles, top-seeds Rodriguez, a senior and Schlesinger, a junior,  made the climb from a quarterfinal loss last season to the pinnacle of the awards stand this time. They traded lopsided wins the first two sets (21-12, 13-21) with No. 2 seed Chaparral's Midori Pham and Jessica Zietz before claiming the third, 21-17. Sunnyslope looked as if it would cruise in the third set opening up a 9-3 lead. Chaparral regrouped tying the set at 10. Another Sunnyslope lead of five (15-10) melted to one (17-16), but Rodriguez and Schlesinger were strong to the finish. Pham, a senior, concluded a decorated career with her runner-up finish in doubles, third-place finish in singles last year and third-place finish in doubles in 2019.

Coming through with the only finals sweep (D-2) on Saturday were No. 3 Ironwood seniors Hogan and Traylor Rowen. They bested Gilbert's eighth-seeded senior duo Taylor Bevell and Emily Delabarra. The first set Ironwood eeked out a 21-19 triumph. The second set was over quickly to the tune of 21-8.

D1 doubles team placers: 1. Sunnyslope. 2. Chaparral. 3.Basha. 4. Perry.

Consolation final results (third and fourth place): DI singles - O'Connor's Charity Mattingly defeated Red Mountain's Brynn Dorsey, 23-21, 16-21, 21-14. D1 doubles - Basha's Sydney Flores and Jordyn Mee defeated Perry's Emma Cross and Jayden Montano, 21-15, 21-10. D2 singles - Sunrise Mountain's Abbott defeated Prescott's Megan Townsend, 18-21, 21-19, 21-15. D2 doubles - Horizon's Karly Smith and Jacqueline Musquin defeated Sunrise Mountain's Hattie Hearnen and Kylie Milner, 21-18, 23-21.

 D2 doubles team placers: 1. Ironwood. 2. Gilbert. 3. Horizon. 4. Sunrise Mountain.D1 singles placers: Hamilton, Chaparral. 3. Sandra Day O'Connor. 4. Red Mountain.D2 singles placers: 1. Campo Verde. 2. Ironwood. 3. Sunrise Mountain. 4. Prescott.